Page 49 - IACC Newsletter October November 2013 Issue 13

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employees. Even by Silicon Valley standards, Indian tech employees are restless. "The job market is so hot it's not
uncommon for a young person to think they can build a career by quitting within three months to get a pay raise
somewhere else," said Wagoner of ZipDial.
The tech companies have to offer salaries at the market rate or higher to attract job seekers, who prefer the stability of a
conglomerate over opportunities for personal growth. In fact, Frykman said the "lack of coolness" associated with a
startup was one of the biggest surprises he encountered. For this reason, Indians are less eager for stock options than
their counterparts in the United States.
To increase Indian employees' exposure to such incentives, Wagoner has made stock ownership plans part of ZipDial's
compensation package and will give additional grants to people without their asking if she thinks they deserve them. "I
believe it is very important that people who are taking a risk in building a company see the benefits of that," she said.
Entrepreneurs, for their part, have embraced another Silicon Valley trait and learned to try again after failure. Rahoul
Mehra, 42, founded Saf Labs, a biotechnology trading company in Mumbai, with his wife, Glennis Matthews Mehra, a 39-
year-old neuroscientist. They originally wanted to run all operations out of New York, where they lived. "In doing business
with India, we never intended for us to move to India," he said.
But in 2008, two years into the business, which they had financed on their own, Rahoul Mehra realized that deals would
not be properly managed unless he was in Mumbai. Glennis Mehra reluctantly followed with their daughter, then 2.
The business managed to turn a profit and attract a private European investor so the company could expand into biotech
services. But in 2012, after the Indian government delayed biotech funding for its new five-year plan, Saf Labs' business
was drying up. The Mehras realized they had to move away from the Indian market and focus more on international
opportunities.
Now they are negotiating a sale of the company and using their experiences to market advisory services for Indian
companies that want to expand overseas or foreign companies looking to enter India. Other entrepreneurs, too, have
begun exploring expansion to other emerging markets: ZipDial has entered Southeast Asia. Driptech has sold its products
in Africa, and Promethean Power is moving into Pakistan, Africa and Latin America.
"I don't know who said it, but there's a saying that what you're going to find in India are little islands of excellence: people
- despite the country, despite India - who are succeeding," Rahoul Mehra said. "If you can connect those dots, you can
make a real go of it here."
Copyright © 2013, The New York Times News Service
ISRO team in US for space conference amid strain in ties
Notwithstanding the current unease in bilateral ties, a team of top ISRO scientists are here to participate in the first ever
ministerial meet on international space exploration hosted by the US. The Indian delegation led by A S Kiran Kumar,
Associate Director of the Space Applications Centre (SAC), is here for the two-day 2014 Space Exploration Conference and
Heads of Space Agency Summit, which among others is attended by heads of 30 top space agencies including those from
China, Germany, the US and Russia.
However, the Indian delegation is neither represented at the ministerial level nor is led by Indian Space Research
Organization (ISRO) head Dr. K Radhakrishnan. There has been no official explanation given for a relatively low level
representation at such an international conference, fuelling speculation that it is probably influenced by the recent strain
in India-US ties following the arrest of senior Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade in New York last month on alleged visa
fraud charges.
The Indian participation in this important meeting today and tomorrow was described by the State Department as
business as usual. “We’re welcoming an Indian delegation to the State Department tomorrow as part of the first ever